By Edgar Guest
“This is the sort of a man was he:
True when it hurt him a lot to be;
Tight in a corner an' knowin' a lie
'Would have helped him out, but he wouldn't buy
His freedom there in so cheap a way
He told the truth though he had to pay.
Honest! Not in the easy sense,
When he needn't worry about expense
We'll all play square when it doesn't count
And the sum at stake's not a large amount
But he was square when the times were bad,
And keepin' his word took all he had.
Honor is something we all profess,
But most of us cheat --- some more, some less
And the real test isn't the way we do
When there isn't a pinch in either shoe;
It's whether we're true to our best or not
When the right thing's certain to hurt a lot.
That is the sort of a man was he:
Straight when it hurt him a lot to be;
Times when a lie would have paid him well,
No matter the cost, the truth he'd tell;
An' he'd rather go down to a drab defeat
Than save himself if he had to cheat.